DU's Honor Code and Comprehensive Discrimination and Harassment Procedures and Title IX Sexual Harassment Procedures prohibit harassment, discrimination and gender-based violence, including sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking and retaliation. DU travelers participating on DU international experiences are protected by the Procedures and are expected to conform to the expectations expressed within it. We have resources available to help travelers who experience any type of gender-based violence.
Keep in mind that anyone could be a victim of gender-based violence. It touches people of all races, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations, abilities, socioeconomic backgrounds and national origins. Members of the DU community who learn that an individual has experienced unwanted gender-based behavior should also remember that it is their job to offer support and to connect that individual to the appropriate resources. They should not attempt to assign blame to any individual or to investigate the matter themselves.
Dealing with gender-based violence is difficult, and it can be especially difficult to process and navigate through available resources while abroad. The information below is meant to raise awareness of DU's support structures while abroad and to provide options to survivors.
What is Gender-Based Violence?
Gender-based violence is an umbrella term for the following conduct:
- Sexual Assault (rape, sodomy, sexual assault with an object, fondling, incest, statutory rape)
- Domestic Violence
- Dating Violence
In addition, DU prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of a protected status, including but not limited to sexual harassment.
Prevention and Risk Reduction
- Become familiar with the cultural norms and general attitudes of your host culture.
- All participants in sexual activity are encouraged to engage in clear and continuous communication about which sexual actions are welcome and which actions are not.
- Listen to your intuition and know that you have the right to say "NO" to any unwanted sexual encounter.
- Know that drinking and recreational drug use can impair the judgment of all involved and that intoxication can affect the ability of any individual to give effective consent.
- Watch out for your friends and ask that they watch out for you.
What is Consent?
Many forms of gender-based violence involve unwanted sexual contact or attention without obtaining effective consent from the individual(s) subject to those actions. The University's procedures clearly state that it is the responsibility of the person wishing to engage in sexual conduct to obtain effective consent. The Procedures define consent as mutually understandable, clear, knowing and voluntary affirmative permission given through words or actions regarding the willingness to engage in sexual activity and the conditions thereof.
An individual who is not the age of consent, is incapacitated, or under coercion, force, or abuse of power cannot grant consent. Consent must be affirmative and cannot be inferred from silence, passivity or lack of active resistance alone.
For a full review of consent in the University's Procedures, see here. Please note that the DU's policy may define consent in a way that may be different than the definition of consent in your host country. It is important to understand the local definition of consent prior to departure.
Medical attention can be made available for survivors of sexual and relationship violence. This attention can be for physical, emotional and sexual health needs, as well as to complete a forensic exam. Access to a forensic exam may vary depending on local resources.
A trusted individual on-site, such as a resident/faculty director or a DU staff member, will often have received training on responding to a disclosure of gender-based violence, harassment or discrimination. These individuals are in the best position to provide immediate assistance, such as identifying and helping secure access to appropriate, quality medical care in partnership with International SOS.
In most locations, International SOS can provide referrals for compassionate providers experienced in treating survivors of gender-based violence. Medical services, laws and cultural norms vary from country to country, and if necessary services are not available, International SOS may be able to arrange alternatives in other locations. If language barriers exist, your trusted individual on-site can usually assist with translation. Alternatively, International SOS may be able to provide translation services upon request.
Individuals may elect to make a report by contacting the University's Office of Equal Opportunity & Title IX at firstname.lastname@example.org, who will provide reporting parties with resources, an understanding of the applicable process for filing a complaint, and supportive measures tailored to provide safety and enable the student to continue their educational studies. While the Office of Equal Opportunity & Title IX is not a confidential resource, it will respect and safeguard the privacy interests of all individuals involved balanced with the need for a careful assessment of the allegation and any necessary steps to eliminate the conduct, prevent its recurrence, and address its effects.
Understanding Confidential Resources
A survivor may elect to speak with confidential resources in lieu of or before making a report to University's Office of Equal Opportunity & Title IX. These confidential resources will not disclose any identifying information to another person or entity without the permission of the student. Confidential resources that are available for all students include:
The Center for Advocacy, Prevention, and Empowerment (CAPE)
DU's Health and Counseling Center
International SOS (University's membership number is 11BSGC000067)
Depending on the laws of each host country, other on-site staff at host institutions might also serve as confidential resources. Be sure to understand which personnel at your host institution may serve as a confidential resource prior to departing. Also, note that limits of confidentiality might exist when:
- Clear and substantial risk of physical danger to self or others exists. This may include life-threatening situations or where specific others are endangered by the perpetrator (e.g., threats).
- Required by law (e.g. child abuse reporting statute) or court-ordered. In this case, efforts are made to protect all sensitive information.
Where information about an incident of gender-based violence, harassment or discrimination is disclosed to any DU employee who is not a confidential resource, that employee will have an obligation to inform the Office of Equal Opportunity & Title IX about the incident. However, it is important to know that this does not obligate you to file a formal report or cooperate with a formal investigation. This will merely prompt the Office of Equal Opportunity & Title IX to reach out to you to offer information about resources, reporting options and supportive measures.
Even where information is reported to the Office of Equal Opportunity & Title IX, all personal information and conversations are kept as private as possible. Information is only shared with administrators on a need-to-know basis. Campus Safety, the Office of Equal Opportunity Title IX, SOS Referral, OIE advisors, faculty leaders and host country on-site staff will all maintain privacy while maintaining compliance. In planning any action by the institution in response to the incident, the wishes of the person who experienced the unwanted behavior are given full consideration.
DU Reporting & Resources
Should a DU traveler experience gender-based violence, harassment or discrimination while abroad, know that DU is available to help. However, DU can only respond to allegations of gender-based violence, harassment or discrimination if they're reported. Reporting enables the University to promptly provide support to the impacted traveler(s), and to take appropriate action in order to prevent a recurrence and protect the campus community.
Any DU travelers who believe that they may be the victim of gender-based violence, harassment or discrimination are encouraged to report to DU through one or more of the following private resources:
Host Country On-Site Staff
Faculty or Staff Director
OIE Study Abroad Advisor
International Travel Risk Analyst
Office of Equal Opportunity and Title IX
SOS Referral: Student Outreach and Support
In addition to the above resources, DU travelers may report gender-based violence, harassment or discrimination confidentially to the following campus resources that provide support and guidance:
The Center for Advocacy, Prevention, and Empowerment (CAPE)
Health and Counseling Center